Welcome to Tip of the Week! Judicial officers will offer a tip each week for members of the Family Law Section. Feel free to send suggestions to Mag. Kim Mattingly at email@example.com.
By Mag. Kimberly Dean Mattingly, Marion Superior Court
- Candid Counsel groups are up and running! If you signed up, watch your email for an invitation. Some groups have experienced difficulty getting replies from those who signed up – after a couple of attempts then the group will just set a time and place to meet and go from there. We hope to eventually have a regular schedule of small group meetings that can be posted on our website. Bring your war stories, questions, and conundrums to the first meeting. The plan is to further the goal of increasing civility in our practice area by trading ideas and practice tips.
- Status report: DRCB reports are now being issued 5 weeks or less from date of evaluation appointment! This is a huge improvement from past lead times for reports and is due to the social workers overhauling the products they offer and their procedures, judicial officers screening families for quicker services like limited-issue reports, and the overall requirement that families attempt to mediate before engaging in a last-resort custody evaluation. Be mindful that although DRCB is an arm of the court, the social workers do not have access to case information like you do. They will not know when your hearing or mediation is set unless you tell them. They also will not get word when a case settles, so please let them know asap if your clients resolve their dispute on their own.
- Finalizing Divorces for 2018: New divorce cases should be filed by mid-October for clients intent on being divorced before the end of the year. Be sure to advise clients who might pay or receive maintenance of the changes to the tax treatment of alimony for 2019.
- Finally, a recent tip reminded you that the GAL is a party to the case and must be served with all pleadings. This applies to discovery as well – any notice of deposition and other discovery requests must be served on the GAL.
Stay tuned for a new tip next week!
If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Family Law Section page, please email Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.